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Top-Seeded Thomas More Defeated Fourth-Seeded Bethany, 83-56, to Advance to PAC Championship Game

(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - Junior guard Allison Long (Hebron, Ky./Conner) scored a career-high 27 points to lead the top-seeded Thomas More College women's basketball team to an 83-56 win over fourth-seeded Bethany College tonight (Friday, February 24, 2012) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship Tournament semifinal game at the Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

With the win, the Saints improve to 23-4 and advance to the PAC Tournament Championship game tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Connor Convocation Center where they will play second-seeded Saint Vincent College.  Saint Vincent was a 56-54 winner over third-seeded Waynesburg University in the other semifinal match tonight.  With the loss, the Bison fall to 17-10.

Thomas More raced out to an early 12-0 lead when junior forward/center Katie Kees (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) made a jumper with 16:51 to play in the first half.  Bethany answered with a 13-6 run capped by a Kayla Taormina lay-up with 12:49 to play in the half to cut the lead to 18-13.  The Saint closed out the half on a 28-14 run to take a 46-27 lead at halftime when sophomore guard Devin Beasley (Burlington, Ky./Conner) made a lay-up with 12-seconds to play in the half.

The Saints opened the second half on a 4-2 run capped by a Long jumper with 19:17 to play in the game to increase the lead to 50-29.  The Bison responded with an 8-4 run to cut the lead to 54-37 with 14:16 to play in the game when Taormina made one-of-two free-throws.  Thomas More answered with a 20-7 run to extended the lead to 74-44 with 6:55 to play in the game when senior guard/forward Lauren Hargett (Verona, Ky./Walton-Verona) made two free-throws.  Bethany closed out the game on a 12-9 run, but it wasn't enough as Thomas More won the game, 83-56.

Joining Long in double-figure scoring was Beasley with 17 points and Kees with 10 points.  Kees led the team on the boards with a game-high eight rebounds, while Long and Beasley led the team in assists with four each and junior guard Jill Brunsman (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mother of Mercy) led the team in steals with four.